An exploration of the associations between facets of interoceptive awareness and body image in adolescents

Jennifer Todd, Jane E. Aspell, David Barron, Viren Swami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research suggests that lower interoceptive awareness is associated with more negative body image during adolescence. However, studies have not distinguished between adaptive and maladaptive modes of attention toward interoceptive signals, and relationships between interoceptive awareness and positive body image remain unexplored. To address these issues, a sample of 265 British adolescents (140 girls, 125 boys) aged 13-16 years completed measures of interoceptive awareness, body appreciation, functionality appreciation, body pride, body shame, and body surveillance. Correlational analyses broadly indicated that greater interoceptive awareness was significantly associated with more positive body image. Multiple regressions revealed significant predictive relationships between interoceptive awareness and all facets of body image in both girls and boys, except body surveillance, which was not statistically significant for girls. At the univariate level, the interoceptive awareness facets of Attention Regulation, Body Listening, Self-Regulation, and Trusting emerged as significant predictors for at least one facet of positive body image, whilst the Noticing and Emotional Awareness facets did not. These findings broadly align with previous research with adults, which has indicated that the way interoceptive stimuli are appraised and responded to might be more closely associated with facets of body image than the tendency to notice interoceptive stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalBody Image
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Awareness/physiology
  • Body Image/psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interoception/physiology
  • Male


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